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South Dakota (;
Sioux The Sioux or Oceti Sakowin (; Dakota language, Dakota: Help:IPA, /otʃʰeːtʰi ʃakoːwĩ/) are groups of Native Americans in the United States, Native American tribes and First Nations in Canada, First Nations peoples in North America. The ...
: , ) is a
U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, ...
in the North Central region of the United States. It is also part of the
Great Plains The Great Plains (french: Grandes Plaines), sometimes simply "the Plains", is a broad expanse of plain, flatland in North America. It is located west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains, much of it covered in prairie, step ...
. South Dakota is named after the Lakota and Dakota
Sioux The Sioux or Oceti Sakowin (; Dakota language, Dakota: Help:IPA, /otʃʰeːtʰi ʃakoːwĩ/) are groups of Native Americans in the United States, Native American tribes and First Nations in Canada, First Nations peoples in North America. The ...
Native American tribes, who comprise a large portion of the population with nine reservations currently in the state and have historically dominated the territory. South Dakota is the seventeenth largest by area, but the 5th least populous, and the 5th least densely populated of the 50 United States. As the southern part of the former
Dakota Territory The Territory of Dakota was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 2, 1861, until November 2, 1889, when the final extent of the reduced territory was split and admission to the Union, admitted to the U ...
, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889, simultaneously with
North Dakota North Dakota () is a U.S. state in the Upper Midwest, named after the Native Americans in the United States, indigenous Dakota people, Dakota Sioux. North Dakota is bordered by the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba to the north a ...
. They are the 39th and 40th states admitted to the union; President
Benjamin Harrison Benjamin Harrison (August 20, 1833March 13, 1901) was an American lawyer and politician who served as the 23rd president of the United States from 1889 to 1893. He was a member of the Harrison family of Virginia–a grandson of the ninth pr ...
shuffled the statehood papers before signing them so that no one could tell which became a state first.
Pierre Pierre is a masculine given name. It is a French form of the name Peter. Pierre originally meant "rock" or "stone" in French (derived from the Greek word πέτρος (''petros'') meaning "stone, rock", via Latin "petra"). It is a translatio ...
is the state capital, and
Sioux Falls Sioux Falls () is the most populous city in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, pri ...
, with a population of about 192,200, is South Dakota's largest city. South Dakota is bordered by the states of
North Dakota North Dakota () is a U.S. state in the Upper Midwest, named after the Native Americans in the United States, indigenous Dakota people, Dakota Sioux. North Dakota is bordered by the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba to the north a ...
(to the north),
Minnesota Minnesota () is a state in the upper midwestern region of the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primaril ...
(to the east),
Iowa Iowa () is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern region of the United States, bordered by the Mississippi River to the east and the Missouri River and Big Sioux River to the west. It is bordered by six states: Wiscon ...
(to the southeast),
Nebraska Nebraska () is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern region of the United States. It is bordered by South Dakota to the north; Iowa to the east and Missouri to the southeast, both across the Missouri River; Kansas ...
(to the south),
Wyoming Wyoming () is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. It is bordered by Montana to the north and northwest, South Dakota and Nebraska to the east, Idaho to the west, Utah to the south ...
(to the west), and
Montana Montana () is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West List of regions of the United States#Census Bureau-designated regions and divisions, division of the Western United States. It is bordered by Idaho to the west, North ...
(to the northwest). The state is bisected by the Missouri River, dividing South Dakota into two geographically and socially distinct halves, known to residents as "
East River The East River is a saltwater Estuary, tidal estuary in New York City. The waterway, which is actually not a river despite its name, connects Upper New York Bay on its south end to Long Island Sound on its north end. It separates the borough o ...
" and " West River".Hasselstrom, pp. 2–4. Eastern South Dakota is home to most of the state's population, and the area's fertile soil is used to grow a variety of crops. West of the Missouri River,
ranch A ranch (from es, rancho/Mexican Spanish) is an area of landscape, land, including various structures, given primarily to ranching, the practice of raising grazing livestock such as cattle and sheep. It is a subtype of a farm. These terms are ...
ing is the predominant agricultural activity, and the economy is more dependent on tourism and defense spending. Most of the Native American reservations are in West River. The
Black Hills The Black Hills ( lkt, Ȟe Sápa; chy, Moʼȯhta-voʼhonáaeva; hid, awaxaawi shiibisha) is an isolated mountain range rising from the Great Plains of North America in western South Dakota and extending into Wyoming, United States. Black Elk P ...
, a group of low pine-covered mountains sacred to the Sioux, is in the southwest part of the state.
Mount Rushmore Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a National Memorial (United States), national memorial centered on a colossal sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore (Lakota language, Lakota: ''Tȟuŋkášila Šákpe'', or Six Grandfathe ...
, a major tourist destination, is there. South Dakota has a temperate
continental climate Continental climates often have a significant annual variation in temperature (warm summers and cold winters). They tend to occur in the middle latitudes (40 to 55 north), within large landmasses where prevailing winds blow overland bringing som ...
, with four distinct seasons and precipitation ranging from moderate in the east to semi-arid in the west. The state's ecology features species typical of a North American
grassland A grassland is an area where the vegetation is dominated by grasses (Poaceae). However, sedge (Cyperaceae) and rush (Juncaceae) can also be found along with variable proportions of legumes, like clover, and other Herbaceous plant, herbs. Grassl ...
biome. Humans have inhabited the area for several millennia, with the Sioux becoming dominant by the early 19th century. In the late 19th century, European-American settlement intensified after a
gold rush A gold rush or gold fever is a discovery of gold—sometimes accompanied by other precious metals and rare-earth minerals—that brings an onrush of miners seeking their fortune. Major gold rushes took place in the 19th century in Australia, New Ze ...
in the Black Hills and the construction of railroads from the east. Encroaching miners and settlers triggered a number of
Indian wars The American Indian Wars, also known as the American Frontier Wars, and the Indian Wars, were fought by European governments and colonists in North America, and later by the United States and Canadian governments and American and Canadian settle ...
, ending with the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890. Key events in the 20th century included the
Dust Bowl The Dust Bowl was a period of severe dust storms that greatly damaged the ecology and agriculture of the American and Canadian prairies during the 1930s. The phenomenon was caused by a combination of both natural factors (severe drought) an ...
and
Great Depression The Great Depression (19291939) was an economic shock that impacted most countries across the world. It was a period of economic depression that became evident after a major fall in stock prices in the United States. The Financial contagion, ...
, increased federal spending during the 1940s and 1950s for agriculture and defense, and an industrialization of agriculture that has reduced family farming. While several Democrats have represented South Dakota for multiple terms in both chambers of
Congress A congress is a formal meeting of the Representative democracy, representatives of different countries, constituent states, organizations, trade unions, political party, political parties, or other groups. The term originated in Late Middle Eng ...
, the state government is largely controlled by the Republican Party, whose nominees have carried South Dakota in each of the last 13 presidential elections. Historically dominated by an agricultural economy and a rural lifestyle, South Dakota has recently sought to diversify its economy in other areas to both attract and retain residents. South Dakota's history and rural character still strongly influence the state's culture.


History

Humans have lived in what is today South Dakota for several thousand years. The first inhabitants were Paleoindian
hunter-gatherer A traditional hunter-gatherer or forager is a human living an ancestrally derived lifestyle (sociology), lifestyle in which most or all food is obtained by foraging, that is, by gathering food from local sources, especially edible wild plants bu ...
s, and disappeared from the area around 5000 BC. Between 500 AD and 800 AD, a semi-nomadic people known as the Mound Builders lived in central and eastern South Dakota. In the 14th century, the Crow Creek Massacre occurred, in which several hundred men, women, and children were killed near the Missouri River. By 1500, the
Arikara Arikara (), also known as Sahnish,
''Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation.'' (Retrieved Sep 29, 2011)
(or Ree) had settled in much of the Missouri River valley. European contact with the area began in 1743, when the LaVérendrye brothers explored the region. The LaVérendrye group buried a plate near the site of modern-day
Pierre Pierre is a masculine given name. It is a French form of the name Peter. Pierre originally meant "rock" or "stone" in French (derived from the Greek word πέτρος (''petros'') meaning "stone, rock", via Latin "petra"). It is a translatio ...
, claiming the region for France as part of greater Louisiana. In 1762 the entire region became part of the
Spanish Louisiana Spanish Louisiana ( es, link=no, la Luisiana) was a governorate and administrative district of the Viceroyalty of New Spain from 1762 to 1801 that consisted of a vast territory in the center of North America encompassing the western basin of t ...
until 1802. By the early 19th century, the
Sioux The Sioux or Oceti Sakowin (; Dakota language, Dakota: Help:IPA, /otʃʰeːtʰi ʃakoːwĩ/) are groups of Native Americans in the United States, Native American tribes and First Nations in Canada, First Nations peoples in North America. The ...
had largely replaced the Arikara as the dominant group in the area. In 1803, the United States purchased the
Louisiana Territory The Territory of Louisiana or Louisiana Territory was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 4, 1805, until June 4, 1812, when it was renamed the Missouri Territory. The territory was formed out of the ...
, an area that included most of South Dakota, from
Napoleon Bonaparte Napoleon Bonaparte ; it, Napoleone Bonaparte, ; co, Napulione Buonaparte. (born Napoleone Buonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821), later known by his regnal name Napoleon I, was a French military commander and political leader who ...
, and
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) *President (education), a leader of a college or university *President (government title) President may also refer to: Automobiles * Nissan President, a 1966–2010 Japanese ful ...
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 18 ...
organized the
Lewis and Clark Expedition The Lewis and Clark Expedition, also known as the Corps of Discovery Expedition, was the United States expedition to cross the newly acquired western portion of the country after the Louisiana Purchase. The Corps of Discovery was a select gro ...
to explore the region. In 1817, an American fur trading post was set up at present-day Fort Pierre, beginning continuous American settlement of the area. In 1855, the U.S. Army bought Fort Pierre but abandoned it in 1857 in favor of
Fort Randall The Fort Randall Military Post was established in 1856 to help keep peace on the frontier A frontier is the political and geographical area near or beyond a Border, boundary. A frontier can also be referred to as a "front". The term came f ...
to the south. Settlement by Americans and Europeans was by this time increasing rapidly, and in 1858 the
Yankton Sioux The Dakota (pronounced , Dakota language: ''Dakȟóta/Dakhóta'') are a Native Americans in the United States, Native American tribe (Native American), tribe and First Nations in Canada, First Nations band government in North America. They compo ...
signed the 1858 Treaty, ceding most of present-day eastern South Dakota to the United States. Land speculators founded two of eastern South Dakota's largest present-day cities:
Sioux Falls Sioux Falls () is the most populous city in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, pri ...
in 1856 and Yankton in 1859. In 1861, the
Dakota Territory The Territory of Dakota was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 2, 1861, until November 2, 1889, when the final extent of the reduced territory was split and admission to the Union, admitted to the U ...
was established by the United States government (this initially included
North Dakota North Dakota () is a U.S. state in the Upper Midwest, named after the Native Americans in the United States, indigenous Dakota people, Dakota Sioux. North Dakota is bordered by the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba to the north a ...
, South Dakota, and parts of
Montana Montana () is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West List of regions of the United States#Census Bureau-designated regions and divisions, division of the Western United States. It is bordered by Idaho to the west, North ...
and
Wyoming Wyoming () is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. It is bordered by Montana to the north and northwest, South Dakota and Nebraska to the east, Idaho to the west, Utah to the south ...
). Settlement of the area, mostly by people from the eastern United States as well as western and northern
Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its great physical size and the weight of its history and traditions. Europe is also considered a Continent#Subcontinents, subcontinent of Eurasia ...
, increased rapidly, especially after the completion of an eastern railway link to Yankton in 1873. In 1874, gold was discovered in the
Black Hills The Black Hills ( lkt, Ȟe Sápa; chy, Moʼȯhta-voʼhonáaeva; hid, awaxaawi shiibisha) is an isolated mountain range rising from the Great Plains of North America in western South Dakota and extending into Wyoming, United States. Black Elk P ...
during a military expedition led by George A. Custer and miners and explorers began illegally entering land promised to the Lakota. Custer's expedition took place despite the fact that the
Sioux The Sioux or Oceti Sakowin (; Dakota language, Dakota: Help:IPA, /otʃʰeːtʰi ʃakoːwĩ/) are groups of Native Americans in the United States, Native American tribes and First Nations in Canada, First Nations peoples in North America. The ...
had been granted the entire western half of present-day South Dakota ( West River) in 1868 by the Treaty of Laramie as part of the
Great Sioux Reservation The Great Sioux Reservation initially set aside land west of the Missouri River in South Dakota and Nebraska for the use of the Lakota Sioux, who had dominated this territory. The reservation was established in the Fort Laramie Treaty (1868), ...
. The Sioux declined to grant mining rights or land in the Black Hills, and war broke out after the U.S. failed to stop white miners and settlers from entering the region. Eventually the U.S. won and broke up the Great Sioux Reservation into five reservations, settling the Lakota there. In 1980 the
Supreme Court A supreme court is the highest court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between Party (law), parties and carry out the administration of ju ...
and Congress ordered compensation but the Lakota still refuse to accept it, insisting on return of their land. A growing population in the Dakota Territory caused political dissatisfaction between northern and southern territory residents, with the southern half being always more populated. Following the territorial capital being moved from Yankton to Bismarck in the northern part, calls for dividing the territory increased. Eventually, in 1887 general election, Dakota Territory residents voted for the division, so it was divided in half and President
Benjamin Harrison Benjamin Harrison (August 20, 1833March 13, 1901) was an American lawyer and politician who served as the 23rd president of the United States from 1889 to 1893. He was a member of the Harrison family of Virginia–a grandson of the ninth pr ...
signed proclamations formally admitting South Dakota and North Dakota to the union on November 2, 1889.Thompson (ed.), pp. 115–116. Harrison had the papers shuffled to obscure which one was signed first and the order went unrecorded. On December 29, 1890, the Wounded Knee Massacre occurred on the
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation ( lkt, Wazí Aháŋhaŋ Oyáŋke), also called Pine Ridge Agency, is an Oglala Lakota Indian reservation located entirely within the U.S. state of South Dakota. Originally included within the territory of the Grea ...
. Commonly cited as the last major armed conflict between the United States and the Lakota Sioux Nation, the massacre resulted in the deaths of at least 146 Sioux, many of them women and children.Schell, pp. 304–305. 31 U.S. soldiers were also killed in the conflict. During the 1930s, several economic and climatic conditions combined with disastrous results for South Dakota. A lack of rainfall, extremely high temperatures and inappropriate cultivation techniques produced what was known as the
Dust Bowl The Dust Bowl was a period of severe dust storms that greatly damaged the ecology and agriculture of the American and Canadian prairies during the 1930s. The phenomenon was caused by a combination of both natural factors (severe drought) an ...
in South Dakota and several other plains states. Fertile
topsoil Topsoil is the upper layer of soil. It has the highest concentration of organic matter and microorganisms and is where most of the Earth, Earth's Biology, biological soil activity occurs. Description Topsoil is composed of mineral particles an ...
was blown away in massive dust storms, and several harvests were completely ruined. The experiences of the Dust Bowl, coupled with local bank
foreclosure Foreclosure is a legal process in which a lender attempts to recover the balance of a loan from a borrower who has stopped making payments to the lender by forcing the sale of the asset In financial accounting, an asset is any resource ...
s and the general economic effects of the
Great Depression The Great Depression (19291939) was an economic shock that impacted most countries across the world. It was a period of economic depression that became evident after a major fall in stock prices in the United States. The Financial contagion, ...
, resulted in many South Dakotans leaving the state. The population of South Dakota declined by more than 7% between 1930 and 1940. Economic stability returned with the U.S. entry into
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
in 1941, when demand for the state's agricultural and industrial products grew as the nation mobilized for war. In 1944, the Pick–Sloan Plan was passed as part of the
Flood Control Act of 1944 The Pick-Sloan Flood Control Act of 1944 (P.L. 78–534), enacted in the 2nd session of the 78th Congress, is U.S. legislation that authorized the construction of numerous dams and modifications to previously existing dams, as well as levees acro ...
by the U.S. Congress, resulting in the construction of six large dams on the Missouri River, four of which are at least partially in South Dakota.Schell, pp. 323–325. Flood control,
hydroelectricity Hydroelectricity, or hydroelectric power, is electricity generated from hydropower (water power). Hydropower supplies one sixth of the world's electricity Electricity is the set of physics, physical Phenomenon, phenomena associated w ...
, and recreational opportunities such as boating and fishing are provided by the dams and their reservoirs. In recent decades, South Dakota has been transformed from a state dominated by agriculture to one with a more diversified economy. The tourism industry has grown considerably since the mid-twentieth century, with the
Black Hills The Black Hills ( lkt, Ȟe Sápa; chy, Moʼȯhta-voʼhonáaeva; hid, awaxaawi shiibisha) is an isolated mountain range rising from the Great Plains of North America in western South Dakota and extending into Wyoming, United States. Black Elk P ...
becoming more important as a destination. The financial service industry began to grow in the state as well, with
Citibank Citibank, N. A. (N. A. stands for "National bank#United States, National Association") is the primary U.S. banking subsidiary of financial services multinational corporation, multinational Citigroup. Citibank was founded in 1812 as the City Ban ...
moving its credit card operations from New York to
Sioux Falls Sioux Falls () is the most populous city in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, pri ...
in 1981, a move that has been followed by several other financial companies. South Dakota was the first state to eliminate caps on interest rates.Hetland, Cara. ''Sioux Falls 25 years after Citibank's arrival''
Publicradio.org
Minnesota Public Radio Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), is a public radio network for the state of Minnesota. With its three services, KNOW-FM, News & Information, KSJN, YourClassical MPR and KCMP, The Current, MPR operates a 46-station regional radio network in the uppe ...
. February 24, 2006. (accessed March 23, 2007)
In 2007, the site of the recently closed Homestake gold mine near
Lead Lead is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Pb (from the Latin ) and atomic number 82. It is a heavy metals, heavy metal that is density, denser than most common materials. Lead is Mohs scale of mineral hardness#Intermediate ...
was chosen as the location of a new underground research facility, the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory. Despite a growing state population and recent economic development, many rural areas have been struggling over the past 50 years with locally declining populations and the emigration of educated young adults to larger South Dakota cities, such as Rapid City or Sioux Falls, or to other states. Mechanization and consolidation of agriculture has contributed greatly to the declining number of smaller family farms and the resulting economic and demographic challenges facing rural towns. However, the state often ranks highly for its way of life, and Gallup's well-being index in 2018 named South Dakota the happiest, healthiest state in the United States.


Geography

South Dakota is in the north-central United States, and is considered a part of the
Midwest The Midwestern United States, also referred to as the Midwest or the American Midwest, is one of four Census Bureau Region, census regions of the United States Census Bureau (also known as "Region 2"). It occupies the northern central part of ...
by the U.S. Census Bureau; it is also part of the
Great Plains The Great Plains (french: Grandes Plaines), sometimes simply "the Plains", is a broad expanse of plain, flatland in North America. It is located west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains, much of it covered in prairie, step ...
region. The culture, economy, and geography of western South Dakota have more in common with the
West West or Occident is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass. It is the opposite direction from east and is the direction in which the Sunset, Sun sets on the Earth. Etymology The word "west" is a Germanic languages, German ...
than the Midwest.Johnson, Dirk. ''Gold Divides Dakotans as River Did'
NYtimes.com
''
The New York Times ''The New York Times'' (''the Times'', ''NYT'', or the Gray Lady) is a daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership reported in 2020 to comprise a declining 840,000 paid print subscribers, and a growing 6 million paid d ...
''. October 9, 1988. (accessed February 14, 2008)
South Dakota has a total area of , making the state the 17th largest in the Union.
Black Elk Peak Black Elk Peak is the highest natural point in the U.S. state of South Dakota and the Midwestern United States. It lies in the Black Elk Wilderness area, in southern Pennington County, South Dakota, Pennington County, in the Black Hills National ...
, formerly named Harney Peak, with an elevation of , is the state's highest point, while the shoreline of
Big Stone Lake Big Stone Lake ( dak, Íŋyaŋ Tháŋka Bdé) is a long, narrow freshwater lake and reservoir on the border between western Minnesota and northeastern South Dakota in the United States. Description The lake covers , stretching from end to end ...
is the lowest, with an elevation of . South Dakota is bordered to the north by
North Dakota North Dakota () is a U.S. state in the Upper Midwest, named after the Native Americans in the United States, indigenous Dakota people, Dakota Sioux. North Dakota is bordered by the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba to the north a ...
; to the south by
Nebraska Nebraska () is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern region of the United States. It is bordered by South Dakota to the north; Iowa to the east and Missouri to the southeast, both across the Missouri River; Kansas ...
; to the east by
Iowa Iowa () is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern region of the United States, bordered by the Mississippi River to the east and the Missouri River and Big Sioux River to the west. It is bordered by six states: Wiscon ...
and
Minnesota Minnesota () is a state in the upper midwestern region of the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primaril ...
; and to the west by
Wyoming Wyoming () is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. It is bordered by Montana to the north and northwest, South Dakota and Nebraska to the east, Idaho to the west, Utah to the south ...
and
Montana Montana () is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West List of regions of the United States#Census Bureau-designated regions and divisions, division of the Western United States. It is bordered by Idaho to the west, North ...
. The geographical center of the U.S. is west of Castle Rock in Butte County. The North American continental
pole of inaccessibility A pole of inaccessibility with respect to a geography, geographical criterion of inaccessibility marks a location that is the most challenging to reach according to that criterion. Often it refers to the most distant point from the coastline, i ...
is between Allen and Kyle, from the nearest coastline. The Missouri River is the largest and longest river in the state. Other major South Dakota rivers include the
Cheyenne The Cheyenne ( ) are an Indigenous people of the Great Plains. Their Cheyenne language belongs to the Algonquian languages, Algonquian language family. Today, the Cheyenne people are split into two federally recognized tribe, federally recognize ...
,
James James is a common English language surname and given name: * James (name), the typically masculine first name James * James (surname), various people with the last name James James or James City may also refer to: People * King James (disambigu ...
, Big Sioux, and
White White is the lightest color Color (American English) or colour (British English) is the visual perception, visual perceptual Physical property, property deriving from the spectrum of light interacting with the photoreceptor cells of th ...
Rivers. Eastern South Dakota has many natural lakes, mostly created by periods of glaciation.Thompson (ed.), pp. 17–18. Additionally, dams on the Missouri River create four large reservoirs:
Lake Oahe Lake Oahe () is a large reservoir A reservoir (; from French language, French ''réservoir'' ) is an enlarged lake behind a dam. Such a dam may be either artificial, built to water storage, store fresh water or it may be a natural formation. ...
, Lake Sharpe, Lake Francis Case, and Lewis and Clark Lake.


Regions and geology

South Dakota can generally be divided into three regions: eastern South Dakota, western South Dakota, and the
Black Hills The Black Hills ( lkt, Ȟe Sápa; chy, Moʼȯhta-voʼhonáaeva; hid, awaxaawi shiibisha) is an isolated mountain range rising from the Great Plains of North America in western South Dakota and extending into Wyoming, United States. Black Elk P ...
. The Missouri River serves as a boundary in terms of geographic, social, and political differences between eastern and western South Dakota. The geography of the Black Hills, long considered sacred by Native Americans, differs from its surroundings to such an extent it can be considered separate from the rest of western South Dakota. At times the Black Hills are combined with the rest of western South Dakota, and people often refer to the resulting two regions divided by the Missouri River as West River and
East River The East River is a saltwater Estuary, tidal estuary in New York City. The waterway, which is actually not a river despite its name, connects Upper New York Bay on its south end to Long Island Sound on its north end. It separates the borough o ...
. Eastern South Dakota generally features higher precipitation and lower topography than the western part of the state. Smaller geographic regions of this area include the Coteau des Prairies, the Dissected Till Plains, and the James River Valley. The Coteau des Prairies is a plateau bordered on the east by the
Minnesota River The Minnesota River ( dak, Mnísota Wakpá) is a tributary of the Mississippi River, approximately 332 miles (534 km) long, in the U.S. state of Minnesota. It drains a drainage basin, watershed of in Minnesota and about in South Dakota an ...
Valley and on the west by the James River Basin. Further west, the James River Basin is mostly low, flat, highly eroded land, following the flow of the
James River The James River is a river in the U.S. state of Virginia that begins in the Appalachian Mountains and flows U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline dataThe National Map , accessed April 1, 2011 to Chesapea ...
through South Dakota from north to south. The Dissected Till Plains, an area of rolling hills and fertile soil that covers much of Iowa and Nebraska, extends into the southeastern corner of South Dakota. Layers deposited during the
Pleistocene The Pleistocene ( , often referred to as the '' Ice age'') is the geological epoch that lasted from about 2,580,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the Earth's most recent period of repeated glaciations. Before a change was finally confirmed ...
epoch, starting around two million years ago, cover most of eastern South Dakota. These are the youngest rock and sediment layers in the state, the product of several successive periods of
glaciation A glacial period (alternatively glacial or glaciation) is an interval of time (thousands of years) within an ice age that is marked by colder temperatures and glacier advances. Interglacials, on the other hand, are periods of warmer climate betwe ...
which deposited a large amount of rocks and soil, known as
till image:Geschiebemergel.JPG, Closeup of glacial till. Note that the larger grains (pebbles and gravel) in the till are completely surrounded by the matrix of finer material (silt and sand), and this characteristic, known as ''matrix support'', is d ...
, over the area. The
Great Plains The Great Plains (french: Grandes Plaines), sometimes simply "the Plains", is a broad expanse of plain, flatland in North America. It is located west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains, much of it covered in prairie, step ...
cover most of the western two-thirds of South Dakota. West of the Missouri River the landscape becomes more arid and rugged, consisting of rolling hills, plains, ravines, and steep flat-topped hills called
butte __NOTOC__ In geomorphology, a butte () is an isolated hill with steep, often vertical sides and a small, relatively flat top; buttes are smaller landforms than mesas, plateaus, and table (landform), tablelands. The word ''butte'' comes from a F ...
s. In the south, east of the Black Hills, lie the South Dakota
Badlands Badlands are a type of dry terrain where softer sedimentary rocks and clay-rich soils have been extensively Erosion, eroded."Badlands" in ''Chambers's Encyclopædia''. London: George Newnes Ltd, George Newnes, 1961, Vol. 2, p. 47. They are chara ...
. Erosion from the Black Hills, marine skeletons which fell to the bottom of a large shallow sea that once covered the area, and volcanic material all contribute to the geology of this area. The Black Hills are in the southwestern part of South Dakota and extend into
Wyoming Wyoming () is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. It is bordered by Montana to the north and northwest, South Dakota and Nebraska to the east, Idaho to the west, Utah to the south ...
. This range of low mountains covers , with peaks that rise from 2,000 to 4,000 feet (600 to 1,200 m) above their bases. The Black Hills are the location of
Black Elk Peak Black Elk Peak is the highest natural point in the U.S. state of South Dakota and the Midwestern United States. It lies in the Black Elk Wilderness area, in southern Pennington County, South Dakota, Pennington County, in the Black Hills National ...
(7,242 ft or 2,207 m above sea level), the highest point in South Dakota and also the highest point in the United States east of the
Rocky Mountains The Rocky Mountains, also known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range and the largest mountain system in North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch in great-circle distance, straight-line distance from the northernmost part of western Can ...
. Two-billion-year-old
Precambrian The Precambrian (or Pre-Cambrian, sometimes abbreviated pꞒ, or Cryptozoic) is the earliest part of Earth's history, set before the current Phanerozoic Eon. The Precambrian is so named because it preceded the Cambrian, the first period of t ...
formations, the oldest rocks in the state, form the central core of the Black Hills. Formations from the
Paleozoic Era The Paleozoic (or Palaeozoic) Era is the earliest of three era (geology), geologic eras of the Phanerozoic Eon. The name ''Paleozoic'' ( ;) was coined by the British geologist Adam Sedgwick in 1838 by combining the Ancient Greek, Greek words ' ...
form the outer ring of the Black Hills; these were created between roughly 540 and 250 million years ago. This area features rocks such as
limestone Limestone (calcium carbonate ) is a type of carbonate rock, carbonate sedimentary rock which is the main source of the material Lime_(material), lime. It is composed mostly of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different Polymorphis ...
, which were deposited here when the area formed the shoreline of an ancient inland sea.


Ecology

Much of South Dakota (except for the Black Hills area) is dominated by a temperate
grassland A grassland is an area where the vegetation is dominated by grasses (Poaceae). However, sedge (Cyperaceae) and rush (Juncaceae) can also be found along with variable proportions of legumes, like clover, and other Herbaceous plant, herbs. Grassl ...
biome A biome () is a biogeographical unit consisting of a biological community (ecology), community that has formed in response to the physical environment in which they are found and a shared regional climate. Biomes may span more than one continent. ...
. Although grasses and crops cover most of this region,
deciduous In the fields of horticulture and Botany, the term ''deciduous'' () means "falling off at maturity" and "tending to fall off", in reference to trees and shrubs that seasonally shed leaves, usually in the autumn; to the shedding of petals, af ...
trees such as cottonwoods, elms, and
willow Willows, also called sallows and osiers, from the genus ''Salix'', comprise List of Salix species, around 400 speciesMabberley, D.J. 1997. The Plant Book, Cambridge University Press #2: Cambridge. of typically deciduous trees and shrubs, found ...
s are common near rivers and in shelter belts.
Mammals Mammals () are a group of vertebrate animals constituting the class (biology), class Mammalia (), characterized by the presence of mammary glands which in Female#Mammalian female, females produce milk for feeding (nursing) their young, a ...
in this area include
bison Bison are large bovines in the genus ''Bison'' (Greek: "wild ox" (bison)) within the tribe Bovini. Two extant taxon, extant and numerous extinction, extinct species are recognised. Of the two surviving species, the American bison, ''B. bison'' ...
,
deer Deer or true deer are hoofed ruminant mammals forming the family Cervidae. The two main groups of deer are the Cervinae, including the muntjac, the elk (wapiti), the red deer, and the fallow deer; and the Capreolinae, including the ...
,
pronghorn The pronghorn (, ) (''Antilocapra americana'') is a species of Even-toed ungulate, artiodactyl (even-toed, hoofed) mammal indigenous to interior western and central North America. Though not an antelope, it is known colloquially in North America ...
,
coyotes The coyote (''Canis latrans'') is a species of canis, canine native to North America. It is smaller than its close relative, the wolf, and slightly smaller than the closely related eastern wolf and red wolf. It fills much of the same ecologica ...
, and
prairie dog Prairie dogs (genus ''Cynomys'') are herbivorous Burrow, burrowing Marmotini , ground squirrels native to the grasslands of North America. Within the genus are five species: black-tailed prairie dog, black-tailed, white-tailed prairie dog, wh ...
s. The state bird, the ring-necked pheasant, has adapted well to the area after being introduced from
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
. Growing populations of
bald eagle The bald eagle (''Haliaeetus leucocephalus'') is a bird of prey found in North America. A sea eagle, it has two known subspecies and forms a Species complex, species pair with the white-tailed eagle (''Haliaeetus albicilla''), which occupies t ...
s are spread throughout the state, especially near the Missouri River. Rivers and lakes of the grasslands support populations of
walleye The walleye (''Sander vitreus'', Synonym (taxonomy), synonym ''Stizostedion vitreum''), also called the yellow pike or yellow pickerel, is a freshwater perciform fish native to most of Canada and to the Northern United States. It is a North A ...
,
carp Carp are various species of oily fish, oily freshwater fish from the family Cyprinidae, a very large group of fish native to Europe and Asia. While carp is consumed in many parts of the world, they are generally considered an invasive species in ...
, pike, bass, and other species. The Missouri River also contains the pre-historic
paddlefish Paddlefish (family Polyodontidae) are a family of ray-finned fish belonging to order Acipenseriformes, and one of two living groups of the order alongside Sturgeon, sturgeons (Acipenseridae). They are distinguished from other fish by their titul ...
. Due to a higher elevation and level of precipitation, the Black Hills ecology differs significantly from that of the plains. The mountains are thickly blanketed by various types of
pine A pine is any conifer tree or shrub in the genus ''Pinus'' () of the family (biology), family Pinaceae. ''Pinus'' is the sole genus in the subfamily Pinoideae. The World Flora Online created by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Missouri Botanic ...
s, including ponderosa and lodgepole pines, as well as spruces.Thompson (ed.), p. 31. Black Hills mammals include
deer Deer or true deer are hoofed ruminant mammals forming the family Cervidae. The two main groups of deer are the Cervinae, including the muntjac, the elk (wapiti), the red deer, and the fallow deer; and the Capreolinae, including the ...
, elk (wapiti),
bighorn sheep The bighorn sheep (''Ovis canadensis'') is a species of Ovis, sheep native to North America. It is named for its large Horn (anatomy), horns. A pair of horns might weigh up to ; the sheep typically weigh up to . Recent genetic testing indicates ...
,
mountain goat The mountain goat (''Oreamnos americanus''), also known as the Rocky Mountain goat, is a hoofed mammal endemic to mountainous areas of western North America. A subalpine to Alpine tundra, alpine species, it is a Sure-footedness, sure-footed clim ...
s,
pine marten The European pine marten (''Martes martes''), also known as the pine marten, is a mustelid native to and widespread in most of Europe, Asia Minor, the Caucasus and parts of Iran, Iraq and Syria. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. ...
, and
mountain lion The cougar (''Puma concolor'') is a large cat The cat (''Felis catus'') is a Domestication of the cat, domestic species of small carnivorous mammal. It is the only domesticated species in the family Felidae and is commonly referred ...
s, while the streams and lakes contain several species of
trout Trout are species of freshwater fish belonging to the genera ''Oncorhynchus'', ''Salmo'' and ''Salvelinus'', all of the subfamily (biology), subfamily Salmoninae of the family Salmonidae. The word ''trout'' is also used as part of the name ...
.


Climate

South Dakota has a
continental climate Continental climates often have a significant annual variation in temperature (warm summers and cold winters). They tend to occur in the middle latitudes (40 to 55 north), within large landmasses where prevailing winds blow overland bringing som ...
with four distinct seasons, ranging from cold, dry winters to warm and semi-humid summers. During the summers, the state's average high temperature is often close to , although it cools to near at night. It is not unusual for South Dakota to have severe hot, dry spells in the summer with the temperature climbing above several times a year. Winters are cold with January high temperatures averaging below freezing and low temperatures averaging below in most of the state. The highest recorded temperature is at Usta on July 15, 2006 and the lowest recorded temperature is at
McIntosh McIntosh, Macintosh, or Mackintosh (Scottish Gaelic, Gaelic: ') may refer to: Products and brands * Mackintosh, a form of waterproof raincoat * Mackintosh's or John Mackintosh and Co., later Rowntree Mackintosh, former UK confectionery company now ...
on February 17, 1936. Average annual
precipitation In meteorology, precipitation is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravitational pull from clouds. The main forms of precipitation include drizzle, rain, Rain and snow mixed, sleet, snow, ice pellets, ...
in South Dakota ranges from
semi-arid A semi-arid climate, semi-desert climate, or steppe climate is a dry climate sub-type. It is located on regions that receive precipitation below Evapotranspiration#Potential evapotranspiration, potential evapotranspiration, but not as low as a des ...
conditions in the northwestern part of the state (around ) to semi-humid around the southeast portion of the state (around ), although a small area centered on
Lead Lead is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Pb (from the Latin ) and atomic number 82. It is a heavy metals, heavy metal that is density, denser than most common materials. Lead is Mohs scale of mineral hardness#Intermediate ...
in the
Black Hills The Black Hills ( lkt, Ȟe Sápa; chy, Moʼȯhta-voʼhonáaeva; hid, awaxaawi shiibisha) is an isolated mountain range rising from the Great Plains of North America in western South Dakota and extending into Wyoming, United States. Black Elk P ...
has the highest precipitation at nearly per year. South Dakota summers bring frequent, sometimes severe, thunderstorms with high winds, thunder, and hail. The state's eastern part is often considered part of
Tornado Alley Tornado Alley is a loosely defined area of the central United States where tornadoes are most frequent. The term was first used in 1952 as the title of a research project to study severe weather in areas of Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, So ...
, and South Dakota experiences an average of 30 tornadoes each year. Severe
blizzard A blizzard is a severe snowstorm characterized by strong sustained winds and low visibility, lasting for a prolonged period of time—typically at least three or four hours. A ground blizzard is a weather condition where snow is not falling ...
s and
ice storm An ice storm, also known as a glaze event or a silver storm is a type of winter storm A winter storm is an event in which wind coincides with varieties of precipitation that only occur at freezing temperatures, such as snow, Rain and snow ...
s often occur during winter.


National parks and monuments

South Dakota has several sites administered by the
National Park Service The National Park Service (NPS) is an List of federal agencies in the United States, agency of the Federal government of the United States, United States federal government within the United States Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of ...
. Two
national parks A national park is a nature park, natural park in use for conservation (ethic), conservation purposes, created and protected by national governments. Often it is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state dec ...
have been established in the state, both in its southwestern region.
Wind Cave National Park Wind Cave National Park is an American national park A national park is a nature park, natural park in use for conservation (ethic), conservation purposes, created and protected by national governments. Often it is a reserve of natural, s ...
, established in 1903 in the
Black Hills The Black Hills ( lkt, Ȟe Sápa; chy, Moʼȯhta-voʼhonáaeva; hid, awaxaawi shiibisha) is an isolated mountain range rising from the Great Plains of North America in western South Dakota and extending into Wyoming, United States. Black Elk P ...
, has an extensive cave network and is home to a large herd of
bison Bison are large bovines in the genus ''Bison'' (Greek: "wild ox" (bison)) within the tribe Bovini. Two extant taxon, extant and numerous extinction, extinct species are recognised. Of the two surviving species, the American bison, ''B. bison'' ...
.
Badlands National Park Badlands National Park ( lkt, Makȟóšiča) is an American national park A national park is a nature park, natural park in use for conservation (ethic), conservation purposes, created and protected by national governments. Often it is a ...
was established in 1978, and features an eroded, brightly colored landscape surrounded by
semi-arid A semi-arid climate, semi-desert climate, or steppe climate is a dry climate sub-type. It is located on regions that receive precipitation below Evapotranspiration#Potential evapotranspiration, potential evapotranspiration, but not as low as a des ...
grasslands. Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills was established in 1925. The sculpture of four U.S. Presidents was carved into the mountainside by sculptor
Gutzon Borglum John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum (March 25, 1867 – March 6, 1941) was an American sculpture, sculptor best known for his work on Mount Rushmore. He is also associated with various other public works of art across the U.S., including Stone Mounta ...
. Other areas managed by the National Park Service include
Jewel Cave National Monument Jewel Cave National Monument contains Jewel Cave, currently the List of longest caves, third longest cave in the world, with of mapped passageways. It is located approximately west of the town of Custer, South Dakota, Custer in Black Hills of S ...
near Custer, the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, which features a decommissioned nuclear missile silo and a separate missile control area several miles away, and the
Missouri National Recreational River The Missouri National Recreational River is a National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, National Recreational River located on the border between Nebraska and South Dakota. The designation was first applied in 1978 to a 59-mile section of the Missour ...
. The Crazy Horse Memorial is a large mountainside sculpture near Mount Rushmore being built using private funds. The Mammoth Site near
Hot Springs A hot spring, hydrothermal spring, or geothermal spring is a Spring (hydrology), spring produced by the emergence of Geothermal (geology), geothermally heated groundwater onto the surface of the Earth. The groundwater is heated either by shallow ...
is another privately owned attraction in the Black Hills. It is a working paleontological dig and has one of the world's largest concentrations of mammoth remains.


Demographics


Population

At the 2021 estimate South Dakota's population was 895,376 on July 1, 2021, a 0.98% increase since the
2020 United States census The United States census of 2020 was the twenty-fourth decennial United States census. Census Day, the reference day used for the census, was April 1, 2020. Other than a pilot study during the 2000 United States census, 2000 census, this was the ...
. 7.3% of South Dakota's population was reported as under 5, 24% under 18, and 14.3% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 50.2% of the population. As of the 2000 census, South Dakota ranked fifth-lowest in the nation in population and population density, only
North Dakota North Dakota () is a U.S. state in the Upper Midwest, named after the Native Americans in the United States, indigenous Dakota people, Dakota Sioux. North Dakota is bordered by the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba to the north a ...
,
Alaska Alaska ( ; russian: Аляска, Alyaska; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state, state located in the Western United States on the northwest extremity o ...
,
Vermont Vermont () is a U.S. state, state in the northeast New England region of the United States. Vermont is bordered by the states of Massachusetts to the south, New Hampshire to the east, and New York (state), New York to the west, and the Provin ...
, and
Wyoming Wyoming () is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. It is bordered by Montana to the north and northwest, South Dakota and Nebraska to the east, Idaho to the west, Utah to the south ...
have fewer residents. Of the people residing in South Dakota, 65.7% were born in South Dakota, 31.4% were born in another U.S. state, 0.6% were born in Puerto Rico, U.S. Island areas, or born abroad to American parent(s), and 2.3% were born in another country. The
center of population In Demography, demographics, the center of population (or population center) of a region is a geographical point that describes a centerpoint of the region's population. There are several ways of defining such a "center point", leading to dif ...
of South Dakota is in Buffalo County, in the unincorporated county seat of Gann Valley.


Ethnicity

According to the 2010 census, the racial composition of the population was: * 84.7%
White White is the lightest color Color (American English) or colour (British English) is the visual perception, visual perceptual Physical property, property deriving from the spectrum of light interacting with the photoreceptor cells of th ...
(83.8%
non-Hispanic white Non-Hispanic whites or Non-Latino whites are Americans who are classified as "white", and are not of Hispanic (also known as Hispanic and Latino Americans, "Latino") heritage. The United States Census Bureau defines ''white'' to include European ...
) * 8.8% American Indian and Alaska Native * 1.2%
African American African Americans (also referred to as Black Americans and Afro-Americans) are an Race and ethnicity in the United States, ethnic group consisting of Americans with partial or total ancestry from sub-Saharan Africa. The term "African American ...
or black * 0.9%
Asian American Asian Americans are Americans of Asian people, Asian ancestry (including Naturalization, naturalized Americans who are Immigration to the United States, immigrants from specific regions in Asia and descendants of such immigrants). Although thi ...
* 0.1% from some other race * 1.8% of two or more races Ethnically, 2.7% of South Dakota's population was of
Hispanic The term ''Hispanic'' ( es, hispano) refers to people, Spanish culture, cultures, or countries related to Spain, the Spanish language, or Hispanidad. The term commonly applies to countries with a cultural and historical link to Spain and to Vic ...
, Latino, or Spanish origin (they may be of any race). As of 2011, 25.4% of South Dakota's population younger than age 1 were minorities, meaning they had at least one parent who was not non-Hispanic white. As of 2000, the five largest ancestry groups in South Dakota are German (40.7%), Norwegian (15.3%), Irish (10.4%), Native American (8.3%), and English (7.1%). German Americans are the largest ancestry group in most parts of the state, especially in East River (east of the Missouri River), although there are also large Scandinavian-descended populations in some counties. South Dakota has the nation's largest population of
Hutterites Hutterites (german: link=no, Hutterer), also called Hutterian Brethren (German: ), are a communal ethnoreligious group, ethnoreligious branch of Anabaptism, Anabaptists, who, like the Amish and Mennonites, trace their roots to the Radical Refor ...
, a communal
Anabaptist Anabaptism (from New Latin language, Neo-Latin , from the Greek language, Greek : 're-' and 'baptism', german: Täufer, earlier also )Since the middle of the 20th century, the German-speaking world no longer uses the term (translation: "Re- ...
group which emigrated in 1874 from German-speaking villages in what today is
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the List of European countries by area, second-largest European country after Russia, which it borders Russia–Ukraine border, to the east and northeast. Ukraine ...
but at that time was part of the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire was an empire and the final period of the List of Russian monarchs, Russian monarchy from 1721 to 1917, ruling across large parts of Eurasia. It succeeded the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad, which ended th ...
. American Indians, largely Lakota, Dakota, and
Nakota Nakota (or Nakoda or Nakona) is the endonym An endonym (from Greek: , 'inner' + , 'name'; also known as autonym) is a common, ''native'' name for a geographical place, group of people, individual person, language or dialect, meaning tha ...
(Sioux), are predominant in several counties and constitute 20 percent of the population in West River. The seven large Indian reservations in the state occupy an area much diminished from their former
Great Sioux Reservation The Great Sioux Reservation initially set aside land west of the Missouri River in South Dakota and Nebraska for the use of the Lakota Sioux, who had dominated this territory. The reservation was established in the Fort Laramie Treaty (1868), ...
of West River, which the federal government had once allocated to the Sioux tribes. South Dakota has the third-highest proportion of Native Americans of any state, behind Alaska and
New Mexico ) , population_demonym = New Mexican ( es, Neomexicano, Neomejicano, Nuevo Mexicano) , seat = Santa Fe, New Mexico, Santa Fe , LargestCity = Albuquerque, New Mexico, Albuquerque , LargestMetro = Albuquerque metropolitan area, Tiguex , Offi ...
. Five of the state's counties are wholly within the boundaries of sovereign
Indian reservation An Indian reservation is an area of land held and governed by a federally recognized Native American tribal nation whose government is accountable to the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs and not to the state government in which ...
s. Because of the limitations of climate and land, and isolation from urban areas with more employment opportunities, living standards on many South Dakota reservations are often far below the national average; Ziebach County ranked as the poorest county in the nation in 2009. The unemployment rate in Fort Thompson, on the Crow Creek Reservation, is 70%, and 21% of households lack plumbing or basic kitchen appliances. A 1995 study by the U.S. Census Bureau found 58% of homes on the
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation ( lkt, Wazí Aháŋhaŋ Oyáŋke), also called Pine Ridge Agency, is an Oglala Lakota Indian reservation located entirely within the U.S. state of South Dakota. Originally included within the territory of the Grea ...
did not have a telephone. The reservations' isolation also inhibits their ability to generate revenue from gaming casinos, an avenue that has proved profitable for many tribes closer to urban centers.


Languages

In 1995 the legislature passed a law to make English the "common language" of the state. Since 2019, ''"the language of the Great Sioux Nation, three dialects, Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota"'' is the official indigenous language. As of the 2000 census, 1.90% of the population age5 or older speak German at home, while 1.51% speak Lakota or Dakota, and 1.43% Spanish. As of 2010, 93.46% (692,504) of South Dakota residents age5 and older spoke English as their primary language. 6.54% of the population spoke a language other than English. 2.06% (15,292) of the population spoke Spanish, 1.39% (10,282) spoke Dakota, and 1.37% (10,140) spoke German. Other languages spoken included Vietnamese (0.16%), Chinese (0.12%), and Russian (0.10%).


Growth and rural flight

Over the last several decades, the population in many rural areas has declined in South Dakota, in common with other Great Plains states. The change has been characterized as "
rural flight Rural flight (or rural exodus) is the Human migration, migratory pattern of peoples from rural sociology, rural areas into urban areas. It is urbanization seen from the rural perspective. In Industrialisation, industrializing economies like Indu ...
" as family farming has declined. Young people have moved to cities for other employment. This trend has continued in recent years, with 30 of South Dakota's counties losing population between the 1990 and the 2000 census.O'Driscoll, Patrick. "Sioux Falls powers South Dakota growth"
, ''
USA Today ''USA Today'' (stylized in all uppercase) is an American daily middle-market newspaper and news broadcasting company. Founded by Al Neuharth on September 15, 1982, the newspaper operates from Gannett's corporate headquarters in Tysons, Virgini ...
'', March 12, 2001. (accessed December 16, 2008)
During that time, nine counties had a population loss of greater than 10%, with Harding County, in the northwest corner of the state, losing nearly 19% of its population. Low birth rates and a lack of younger
immigration Immigration is the international movement of people to a destination country of which they are not natives or where they do not possess citizenship in order to settle as Permanent residency, permanent residents or Naturalization, naturalize ...
has caused the median age of many of these counties to increase. In 24 counties, at least 20% of the population is over the age of 65, compared with a national rate of 12.8%. The effect of rural flight has not been spread evenly through South Dakota, however. Although most rural counties and small towns have lost population, the Sioux Falls area, the larger counties along
Interstate 29 Interstate 29 (I-29) is an Interstate Highway in the Midwestern United States. I-29 runs from Kansas City, Missouri, at a junction with Interstate 35, I-35 and Interstate 70, I-70, to the Canada–US border near Pembina, North Dakota, where ...
, the Black Hills, and many
Indian reservations An Indian reservation is an area of land held and governed by a federally recognized Native American tribal nation whose government is accountable to the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs and not to the state government in which ...
have all gained population. As the reservations have exercised more sovereignty, some Sioux have returned to them from urban areas. Lincoln County near Sioux Falls was the seventh fastest-growing county (by percentage) in the United States in 2010. The growth in these areas has compensated for losses in the rest of the state. South Dakota's total population continues to increase steadily, albeit at a slower rate than the national average.


Religion

According to the
Public Religion Research Institute The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) is an American nonprofit, nonpartisan research and education organization that conducts public opinion polls on a variety of topics, specializing in the quantitative and qualitative study of political ...
in 2020, 73% of the adult population were Christian. Per the
Pew Research Center The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisanism in the United States, nonpartisan American think tank (referring to itself as a "fact tank") based in Washington, D.C. It provides information on social issues, public opinion, and demographic trends ...
's separate 2014 study, the largest
religious denomination A religious denomination is a subgroup within a religion that operates under a common name and tradition among other activities. The term refers to the various Christian denominations (for example, Eastern Orthodox Church, Eastern Orthodox, Cat ...
s by number of adherents as a percentage of South Dakota's population in 2014 were the Catholic Church with 22 percent, Evangelical Protestants with 25 percent, and Mainline Protestants with 32 percent. Together, all kinds of Protestants accounted for 57 percent. Those unaffiliated with any religion represented 18 percent of the population. The breakdown of other religions is <1% Muslim, <1% Hindu and 1% Buddhist. The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2010 were the Roman Catholic Church with 148,883 members; the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is a mainline Protestant Lutheranism, Lutheran Christian Church, church headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. The ELCA was officially formed on January 1, 1988, by the merging of three Lutheran ch ...
(ELCA) with 112,649 members; and the
United Methodist Church The United Methodist Church (UMC) is a worldwide mainline Protestant Christian denomination, denomination based in the United States, and a major part of Methodism. In the 19th century, its main predecessor, the Methodist Episcopal Church, was a ...
(UMC) with 36,020 members. (The ELCA and UMC are specific denominations within the broader terms 'Lutheran' and 'Methodist', respectively.)


Economy

The current-dollar
gross state product Gross regional domestic product (GRDP), gross domestic product of region (GDPR), or gross state product (GSP) is a statistic that measures the size of a region's economy. It is the aggregate of gross value added (GVA) of all resident producer u ...
of South Dakota was $39.8 billion as of 2010, the fifth-smallest total state output in the U.S. The per capita personal income was $38,865 in 2010, ranked 25th in the U.S., and 12.5% of the population was below the poverty line in 2008. CNBC's list of "Top States for Business for 2010" has recognized South Dakota as the seventh best state in the nation. In July 2011, the state's unemployment rate was 4.7%. The
service industry The tertiary sector of the economy, generally known as the service sector, is the third of the three economic sectors in the three-sector model (also known as the economic cycle). The others are the primary sector (raw materials) and the second ...
is the largest economic contributor in South Dakota. This sector includes the retail, finance, and health care industries.
Citibank Citibank, N. A. (N. A. stands for "National bank#United States, National Association") is the primary U.S. banking subsidiary of financial services multinational corporation, multinational Citigroup. Citibank was founded in 1812 as the City Ban ...
, which was at one time the largest bank holding company in the United States, established national banking operations in South Dakota in 1981 to take advantage of favorable banking regulations. Government spending is another important segment of the state's economy, providing over ten percent of the gross state product.
Ellsworth Air Force Base Ellsworth Air Force Base (AFB) is a United States Air Force base located about northeast of Rapid City, South Dakota, just north of the town of Box Elder, South Dakota, Box Elder. The host unit at Ellsworth is the 28th Bomb Wing (28 BW). Assi ...
, near Rapid City, is the second-largest single employer in the state. Agriculture has historically been a key component of the South Dakota economy. Although other industries have expanded rapidly in recent decades, agricultural production is still very important to the state's economy, especially in rural areas. The five most valuable agricultural products in South Dakota are cattle,
corn (maize) Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn (North American English, North American and Australian English), is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples of Mexico, indigenous ...
,
soybeans The soybean, soy bean, or soya bean (''Glycine max'') is a species of legume A legume () is a plant in the family Fabaceae (or Leguminosae), or the fruit or seed of such a plant. When used as a dry grain, the seed is also called a pulse. ...
,
wheat Wheat is a Poaceae, grass widely Agriculture, cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain that is a worldwide staple food. The Taxonomy of wheat, many species of wheat together make up the genus ''Triticum'' ; the most widely grown is common wheat ...
, and hogs. Agriculture-related industries such as
meat packing The meat-packing industry (also spelled meatpacking industry or meat packing industry) handles the slaughtering, processing, packaging Packaging is the science Science is a systematic endeavor that Scientific method, builds and orga ...
and
ethanol Ethanol (abbr. EtOH; also called ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, drinking alcohol, or simply alcohol) is an organic compound. It is an Alcohol (chemistry), alcohol with the chemical formula . Its formula can be also written as or (an ethyl ...
production also have a considerable economic impact on the state. South Dakota is the sixth leading ethanol-producing state in the nation. Another important sector in South Dakota's economy is tourism. Many travel to view the attractions of the state, particularly those in the
Black Hills The Black Hills ( lkt, Ȟe Sápa; chy, Moʼȯhta-voʼhonáaeva; hid, awaxaawi shiibisha) is an isolated mountain range rising from the Great Plains of North America in western South Dakota and extending into Wyoming, United States. Black Elk P ...
region, such as historic Deadwood,
Mount Rushmore Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a National Memorial (United States), national memorial centered on a colossal sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore (Lakota language, Lakota: ''Tȟuŋkášila Šákpe'', or Six Grandfathe ...
, and the nearby state and national parks. One of the largest tourist events in the state is the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The five-day event drew over 739,000 attendees in 2015; significant considering the state has a total population of 850,000. In 2006, tourism provided an estimated 33,000 jobs in the state and contributed over two billion dollars to the economy of South Dakota.


Transportation

South Dakota has of highways, roads, and streets, along with of
interstate highways The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, commonly known as the Interstate Highway System, is a network of controlled-access highways that forms part of the National Highway System (United States), National ...
. Two major interstates pass through South Dakota:
Interstate 90 Interstate 90 (I-90) is an east–west transcontinental freeway and the longest Interstate Highway in the United States at . It begins in Seattle, Washington (state), Washington, and travels through the Pacific Northwest, Mountain states, Mount ...
, which runs east and west through the southern half of the state; and
Interstate 29 Interstate 29 (I-29) is an Interstate Highway in the Midwestern United States. I-29 runs from Kansas City, Missouri, at a junction with Interstate 35, I-35 and Interstate 70, I-70, to the Canada–US border near Pembina, North Dakota, where ...
, running north and south in the eastern portion of the state. The I-29 corridor features generally higher rates of population and economic growth than areas in eastern South Dakota further from the interstate. Also in the state are the shorter Interstates
190 Year 190 (Roman numerals, CXC) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Aurelius and Sura (or, less frequently, year 943 ''Ab ...
, a
spur A spur is a metal tool designed to be worn in pairs on the heels of riding boots for the purpose of directing a horse or other animal to move forward or laterally while riding. It is usually used to refine the riding aids (commands) and to back ...
into central Rapid City, and 229, a loop around southern and eastern Sioux Falls. Several major U.S. highways pass through the state. U.S. routes 12, 14, 16, 18 and 212 travel east and west, while U.S. routes 81, 83, 85 and 281 run north and south. South Dakota and
Montana Montana () is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West List of regions of the United States#Census Bureau-designated regions and divisions, division of the Western United States. It is bordered by Idaho to the west, North ...
are the only states sharing a land border that is not traversed by a paved road. South Dakota contains two
National Scenic Byway A National Scenic Byway is a road recognized by the United States Department of Transportation for one or more of six "intrinsic qualities": archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and scenic. The program was established by C ...
s. The Peter Norbeck National Scenic Byway is in the Black Hills, while the Native American Scenic Byway runs along the Missouri River in the north-central part of the state. Other scenic byways include the Badlands Loop Scenic Byway, the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway, and the Wildlife Loop Road Scenic Byway. Railroads have played an important role in South Dakota transportation since the mid-19th century. Some of railroad track were built in South Dakota during the late 19th century and early 20th century, but only are active.
BNSF Railway BNSF Railway is one of the largest freight railroads in North America. One of seven North American Class I railroads, BNSF has 35,000 employees, of track in 28 states, and nearly 8,000 locomotives. It has three Transcontinental railroad, tr ...
is the largest railroad in South Dakota; the Rapid City, Pierre and Eastern Railroad (formerly the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern) is the state's other major carrier. Other state carriers include Dakota Southern Railway, Dakota and Iowa Railroad, Ellis and Eastern Railroad, Sunflour Railroad,
Canadian Pacific Railway The Canadian Pacific Railway (french: Chemin de fer Canadien Pacifique) , also known simply as CPR or Canadian Pacific and formerly as CP Rail (1968–1996), is a Canadian Class I railway incorporated in 1881. The railway is owned by Canadi ...
, and the Sisseton Milbank Railroad. Rail transportation in the state is mostly freight, but there are two passenger heritage railroads: the Black Hills Central and the Prairie Village, Herman, and Milwaukee. However, South Dakota is one of the two
contiguous Contiguity or contiguous may refer to: *Contiguous data storage, in computer science *Contiguity (probability theory) *Contiguity (psychology) *Contiguous distribution of species, in biogeography *Geographic contiguity of territorial land *Contigu ...
states that lack
Amtrak The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Trade name, doing business as Amtrak () , is the national Passenger train, passenger railroad company of the United States. It operates inter-city rail service in 46 of the 48 contiguous United Stat ...
service. (South Dakota is the only contiguous state that ''never had'' Amtrak—
Wyoming Wyoming () is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. It is bordered by Montana to the north and northwest, South Dakota and Nebraska to the east, Idaho to the west, Utah to the south ...
used to be served by the
San Francisco Zephyr The ''San Francisco Zephyr'' was an Amtrak passenger train that ran between Chicago and Oakland, California, Oakland from June 1972 to July 1983. History From the start of Amtrak in spring 1971 until summer 1972, Amtrak service between Chicago ...
and the Pioneer.) South Dakota's largest commercial airports in terms of passenger traffic are the Sioux Falls Regional Airport and Rapid City Regional Airport.
Delta Air Lines Delta Air Lines, Inc., typically referred to as Delta, is one of the major airlines of the United States and a legacy carrier. One of the List of airlines by foundation date, world's oldest airlines in operation, Delta is headquartered in Atla ...
,
Frontier Airlines Frontier Airlines is a major ultra-low-cost U.S. airline headquartered in Denver, Colorado Denver () is a List of municipalities in Colorado#Consolidated city and county, consolidated city and county, the List of capitals in the Unite ...
, and Allegiant Airlines, as well as commuter airlines using the brand affiliation with major airlines serve the two largest airports. Several other cities in the state also have commercial air service: Aberdeen Regional Airport,
Pierre Regional Airport Pierre Regional Airport is a public airport three miles east of Pierre, South Dakota, Pierre, in Hughes County, South Dakota. Federal Aviation Administration records say the airport had 15,983 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year ...
, and Watertown Regional Airport, some of which are subsidized by the Essential Air Service program. Public transit played a large role in the development of cities in South Dakota. There were seven cities with a streetcar system in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, however, all of these were discontinued over time. Today, only three fixed route public transit systems exist in the state, those being in
Sioux Falls Sioux Falls () is the most populous city in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, pri ...
, Rapid City and on the Yankton Reservation.


Government and politics


Government

Like other U.S. states, the structure of the government of South Dakota follows the same
separation of powers Separation of powers refers to the division of a state (polity), state's government into branches, each with separate, independent power (social and political), powers and responsibilities, so that the powers of one branch are not in conflic ...
as the
federal government A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity characterized by a political union, union of partially Federated state, self-governing provinces, states, or other regions under a central #Federal governments, federal gover ...
, with executive,
legislative A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. They are often contrasted with the Executive (government), executive and Judiciary, ...
, and
judicial The judiciary (also known as the judicial system, judicature, judicial branch, judiciative branch, and court or judiciary system) is the system of courts that adjudication, adjudicates legal disputes/disagreements and interprets, defends, and app ...
branches. The structure of the state government is laid out in the Constitution of South Dakota, the highest law in the state. The constitution may be amended by a majority vote of both houses of the legislature, or by voter initiative. The Governor of South Dakota occupies the executive branch of the state government. The current governor is
Kristi Noem Kristi Lynn Noem (; née Arnold; born November 30, 1971) is an American politician serving as the 33rd governor of South Dakota since 2019. A member of the Republican Party (United States), Republican Party, she was the U.S. representative for ...
, a Republican. The state constitution gives the governor the power to sign into law or veto bills passed by the state legislature, to serve as commander-in-chief of the South Dakota National Guard, to appoint a cabinet, and to commute criminal sentences or to pardon those convicted of crimes. The governor serves for a four-year term, and may not serve more than two consecutive terms. The state legislature is made up of two bodies, the
Senate A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house An upper house is one of two Debate chamber, chambers of a bicameralism, bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the lower house.''Bicameralism'' (1997) by George Tseb ...
, which has 35 members, and the
House of Representatives House of Representatives is the name of legislative bodies in many countries and sub-national entitles. In many countries, the House of Representatives is the lower house of a bicameral Bicameralism is a type of legislature, one divided ...
, with 70 members. South Dakota is divided into 35 legislative districts, with voters electing two representatives and one senator per district. The legislature meets for an annual session which begins on the second Tuesday in January and lasts for 30 days; it also meets if a special session is called by the governor. The judicial branch is made up of several levels. The
state supreme court In the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, st ...
, with four justices and a chief justice, is the highest court in the state. Below the supreme court are the circuit courts; 41 circuit judges serve in seven judicial circuits in the state. Below the circuit courts are the magistrate courts, which deal with lesser criminal and civil actions.


State taxes

As of 2005, South Dakota has the lowest per capita total state tax rate in the United States. The state does not levy personal or corporate
income tax An income tax is a tax imposed on individuals or entities (taxpayers) in respect of the income or profits earned by them (commonly called taxable income). Income tax generally is computed as the product of a tax rate times the taxable income. Tax ...
es,
inheritance tax An inheritance tax is a tax paid by a person who inherits money or property of a person who has died, whereas an estate tax is a levy on the Estate (law), estate (money and property) of a person who has died. International tax law distinguishes ...
es, or taxes on intangible personal property. The state
sales tax A sales tax is a tax paid to a governing body for the sales of certain goods and services. Usually laws allow the seller to collect funds for the tax from the consumer at the point of purchase. When a tax on goods or services is paid to a govern ...
rate is 4.5 percent. Various localities have local levies so in some areas the rate is six percent. The state sales tax does not apply to sales to
Indians Indian or Indians may refer to: Peoples South Asia * Indian people Indians or Indian people are the Indian nationality law, citizens and nationals of India. In 2022, the population of India stood at over 1.4 billion people, making it ...
on
Indian reservation An Indian reservation is an area of land held and governed by a federally recognized Native American tribal nation whose government is accountable to the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs and not to the state government in which ...
s, but many reservations have a compact with the state. Businesses on the reservation collect the tax and the state refunds to the Indian Tribes the percentage of sales tax collections relating to the ratio of Indian population to total population in the county or area affected.
Ad valorem An ''ad valorem'' tax (Latin language, Latin for "according to value") is a tax whose amount is based on the value of a transaction or of property. It is typically imposed at the time of a transaction, as in the case of a sales tax or value-adde ...
property tax A property tax or millage rate is an ad valorem tax on the value of a property.In the OECD classification scheme, tax on property includes "taxes on immovable property or Wealth tax, net wealth, taxes on the change of ownership of property thr ...
es are local taxes and are a large source of funding for school systems, counties, municipalities and other local government units. The South Dakota Special Tax Division regulates some taxes including cigarette and alcohol-related taxes.


Federal representation

South Dakota is represented at the federal level by
Senator A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Legislative chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislature. The name comes from the Ancient Rome, ancient Roman Senate (Latin: ''Senatus''), so-called as an assembly of the senior ...
John Thune John Randolph Thune ( ; born January 7, 1961) is an American politician and businessman serving as the Seniority in the United States Senate, senior United States senator from South Dakota, a seat he has held since 2005, and as the Party leaders ...
, Senator
Mike Rounds Marion Michael Rounds (born October 24, 1954) is an American businessman and politician serving as the junior United States senator The United States Senate is the Upper house, upper chamber of the United States Congress, with the Unite ...
, and Representative Dusty Johnson. All three are Republicans. South Dakota is one of seven states with only one seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. In
United States presidential election The election of the president and the vice president of the United States is an indirect election in which Citizenship of the United States, citizens of the United States who are Voter registration in the United States, registered to vote in o ...
s, South Dakota is allotted three of 538 votes in the Electoral College. As in all other states except
Maine Maine () is a U.S. state, state in the New England and Northeastern United States, Northeastern regions of the United States. It borders New Hampshire to the west, the Gulf of Maine to the southeast, and the Provinces and territories of Canad ...
and neighboring
Nebraska Nebraska () is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern region of the United States. It is bordered by South Dakota to the north; Iowa to the east and Missouri to the southeast, both across the Missouri River; Kansas ...
, South Dakota's electoral votes are granted in a winner-take-all system.


Politics

South Dakota politics are generally dominated by the Republican Party. Since statehood, Republicans have carried the state's electoral votes in all but five presidential elections:
1896 Events January–March * January 2 – The Jameson Raid comes to an end, as Jameson surrenders to the Boers. * January 4 – Utah is admitted as the 45th U.S. state. * January 5 – An Austrian newspaper reports that Wil ...
,
1912 Events January * January 1 – The Republic of China (1912–49), Republic of China is established. * January 5 – The Prague Conference (6th All-Russian Conference of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party) opens. * January 6 ...
(by
Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt Jr. ( ; October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919), often referred to as Teddy or by his initials, T. R., was an American politician, statesman, soldier, conservationist, naturalist, historian, and writer who served as the 26t ...
's Progressive Party),
1932 Events January * January 4 – The British authorities in India arrest and intern Mahatma Gandhi and Vallabhbhai Patel. * January 9 – Sakuradamon Incident (1932), Sakuradamon Incident: Korean nationalist Lee Bong-chang fails in his effort ...
,
1936 Events January–February * January 20 – George V of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India, dies at his Sandringham Estate. The Prince of Wales succeeds to the throne of the United Kingdom as King E ...
and
1964 Events January * January 1 – The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland is dissolved. * January 5 - In the first meeting between leaders of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches since the fifteenth century, Pope Paul VI and Patriarch ...
. ( Democrat
George McGovern George Stanley McGovern (July 19, 1922 – October 21, 2012) was an American historian and South Dakota politician who was a United States House of Representatives, U.S. representative and three-term United States Senate, U.S. senator, a ...
—a native South Dakotan—failed to carry his home state in
1972 Within the context of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) it was the longest year ever, as two leap seconds were added during this 366-day year, an event which has not since been repeated. (If its start and end are defined using Solar time, me ...
.) Only
Alaska Alaska ( ; russian: Аляска, Alyaska; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state, state located in the Western United States on the northwest extremity o ...
has been carried fewer times by a Democrat. Additionally, a Democrat has not won the governorship since 1974. As of 2016, Republicans hold a 15% voter registration advantage over Democrats and hold supermajorities in both the state House and the state Senate. Despite the state's general Republican and conservative leanings, Democrats have found success in various statewide elections, most notably in those involving South Dakota's congressional representatives in Washington. American Indians have been becoming more active in state and county electoral politics. In the 2002 election, American Indian voting carried Tim Johnson as the Democratic candidate by a margin of 532 votes.Gwen Florio, "Indians Show Political Clout; Natives Throng Polls in 'White' S.D. County"
''The Denver Post'', January 8, 2003, accessed June 8, 2011
Until his electoral defeat in 2004, Senator
Tom Daschle Thomas Andrew Daschle ( ; born December 9, 1947) is an American politician and lobbyist who served as a United States senator from South Dakota from 1987 to 2005. A member of the Democratic Party (United States), Democratic Party, he became U.S. ...
was the Senate minority leader (and briefly its
majority leader In Politics of the United States, U.S. politics (as well as in some other countries utilizing the presidential system), the majority floor leader is a partisan position in a legislature, legislative body.
during Democratic control of the Senate in 2001–02). Other prominent South Dakota Democrats include former presidential nominees
George McGovern George Stanley McGovern (July 19, 1922 – October 21, 2012) was an American historian and South Dakota politician who was a United States House of Representatives, U.S. representative and three-term United States Senate, U.S. senator, a ...
and
Hubert Humphrey Hubert Horatio Humphrey Jr. (May 27, 1911 – January 13, 1978) was an American pharmacist and politician who served as the 38th vice president of the United States from 1965 to 1969. He twice served in the United States Senate, representing Mi ...
. In 2016, South Dakota voted for Republican nominee
Donald Trump Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American politician, media personality, and businessman who served as the 45th president of the United States from 2017 to 2021. Trump graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pe ...
over Democratic nominee
Hillary Clinton Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton ( Rodham; born October 26, 1947) is an American politician, diplomat, and former lawyer who served as the 67th United States secretary of state, United States Secretary of State for President Barack Obama from 2009 ...
by a margin of 30%. In
2018 File:2018 Events Collage.png, From top left, clockwise: The 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony in PyeongChang, South Korea; Protests erupt following the Assassination of Jamal Khashoggi; March for Our Lives protests take place across the United ...
, Republican congresswoman
Kristi Noem Kristi Lynn Noem (; née Arnold; born November 30, 1971) is an American politician serving as the 33rd governor of South Dakota since 2019. A member of the Republican Party (United States), Republican Party, she was the U.S. representative for ...
defeated Democrat Billie Sutton in the gubernatorial election by a small margin, and Republican Dusty Johnson defeated Democrat Tim Bjorkman for the state's at-large seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Noem was sworn in on January 5, 2019, making her the first female governor of the state. Contemporary political issues in South Dakota include the costs and benefits of the state lottery, South Dakota's relatively low rankings in education spending (particularly teacher pay—recently the State Sales Tax was increased from 4% to 4.5% to finance an increase in teacher pay), and recent legislative and electoral attempts to ban abortion in the state. A Republican-supported bill passed in March 2019 requires that all public schools display "
In God We Trust "In God We Trust" (also rendered as "In God we trust") is the United States national motto, official motto of the United States and of the U.S. state of Florida. It was adopted by the U.S. Congress in 1956, replacing ("Out of many, one"), whic ...
" in a prominent location. In a 2020 study, South Dakota was ranked as the 22nd hardest state for citizens to vote in.


Culture

South Dakota's culture reflects the state's American Indian, rural, Western, and European roots. A number of annual events celebrating the state's ethnic and historical heritage take place around the state, such as Days of '76 in Deadwood, Czech Days in Tabor, and the annual St. Patrick's Day and Cinco de Mayo festivities in Sioux Falls. The various tribes hold many annual
pow wow A powwow (also pow wow or pow-wow) is a gathering with dances held by many Native Americans in the United States, Native American and First Nations in Canada, First Nations communities. Powwows today allow Indigenous people to socialize, danc ...
s at their reservations throughout the state, to which non-Native Americans are sometimes invited. Custer State Park holds an annual Buffalo Roundup, in which volunteers on horseback gather the park's herd of around 1,500
bison Bison are large bovines in the genus ''Bison'' (Greek: "wild ox" (bison)) within the tribe Bovini. Two extant taxon, extant and numerous extinction, extinct species are recognised. Of the two surviving species, the American bison, ''B. bison'' ...
.
Black Elk Heȟáka Sápa, commonly known as Black Elk (December 1, 1863 – August 19, 1950), was a ''wičháša wakȟáŋ'' ("medicine man A medicine man or medicine woman is a traditional healer and spiritual leader who serves a community of Indige ...
(Lakota) was a medicine man and heyokha, whose life spanned the transition to reservations. His accounts of the 19th-century
Indian Wars The American Indian Wars, also known as the American Frontier Wars, and the Indian Wars, were fought by European governments and colonists in North America, and later by the United States and Canadian governments and American and Canadian settle ...
and
Ghost Dance The Ghost Dance ( Caddo: Nanissáanah, also called the Ghost Dance of 1890) was a ceremony incorporated into numerous Native American belief systems. According to the teachings of the Northern Paiute spiritual leader Wovoka (renamed Jack Wil ...
movement, and his deep thoughts on personal visions and Native American religion, form the basis of the book ''
Black Elk Speaks ''Black Elk Speaks'' is a 1932 book by John G. Neihardt, an American poet and writer, who relates the story of Black Elk, an Oglala Lakota medicine man. Black Elk spoke in Lakota language, Lakota and Black Elk's son, Ben Black Elk, who was present ...
'', first published in 1932. (Among several editions, a premier annotated edition was published in 2008.) Paul Goble, an award-winning children's book author and illustrator, was based in the Black Hills from 1977.
Laura Ingalls Wilder Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder (February 7, 1867 – February 10, 1957) was an American writer, mostly known for the ''Little House on the Prairie'' series of children's books, published between 1932 and 1943, which were based on her childhood ...
, whose semi-autobiographical books are based on her experiences as a child and young adult on the frontier, is one of South Dakota's best-known writers. She drew from her life growing up on a homestead near De Smet as the basis for five of her novels: '' By the Shores of Silver Lake'', '' The Long Winter'', '' Little Town on the Prairie'', '' These Happy Golden Years'', and '' The First Four Years''. These gained renewed popularity in the United States when ''Little House on the Prairie'' was adapted and produced as a television series in 1974. Wilder's daughter,
Rose Wilder Lane Rose Wilder Lane (December 5, 1886 – October 30, 1968) was an American journalist, travel writer, novelist, political theorist and daughter of American writer Laura Ingalls Wilder. Along with two other female writers, Ayn Rand and Isabel Pate ...
, who became a well-known writer in her own right, was born near De Smet in 1886. South Dakota has also produced several notable artists.
Harvey Dunn Harvey Thomas Dunn National Academician, NA (March 8, 1884 – October 29, 1952) was an American painter and teacher. He is best known for his prairie-intimate masterpiece, ''The Prairie is My Garden'' (1950). In this painting, a mother an ...
grew up on a homestead near
Manchester Manchester () is a city in Greater Manchester, England. It had a population of 552,000 in 2021. It is bordered by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and the neighbouring city of City of Salford, Salford to ...
in the late 19th century. While Dunn worked most of his career as a commercial illustrator, his most famous works showed various scenes of frontier life; he completed these near the end of his career.
Oscar Howe Oscar Howe (''Mazuha Hokshina'' or "Trader Boy", May 13, 1915 – October 7, 1983) was a Yanktonai Dakota artist from South Dakota, who became well known for his casein and tempera paintings.Libhart, Myles and Vincent Price. ''Contemporary Sioux ...
(
Crow A crow is a bird of the genus ''Corvus'', or more broadly a synonym for all of ''Corvus''. Crows are generally black in colour. The word "crow" is used as part of the common name of many species. The related term "raven" is not pinned scientifical ...
) was born on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation and won fame for his watercolor paintings. Howe was one of the first Native American painters to adopt techniques and style heavily influenced by the mid-20th century
abstraction Abstraction in its main sense is a conceptual process wherein general rules and concept Concepts are defined as abstract ideas. They are understood to be the fundamental building blocks of the concept behind principles, thoughts and beliefs. T ...
movement, rather than relying on traditional Native American styles. Terry Redlin, originally from Watertown, was an accomplished painter of rural and wildlife scenes. Many of his works are on display at the Redlin Art Center in Watertown.


Cities and towns

Sioux Falls Sioux Falls () is the most populous city in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, pri ...
is the largest city in South Dakota, with a 2020 population of 192,517, and a metropolitan area population of 281,958. The city, founded in 1856, is in the southeast corner of the state. Retail, finance, and healthcare have assumed greater importance in Sioux Falls,Thompson (ed.), p. 554. where the economy was originally centered on agri-business and quarrying. Rapid City, with a 2020 population of 74,703, and a metropolitan area population of 144,558, is the second-largest city in the state. It is on the eastern edge of the Black Hills, and was founded in 1876. Rapid City's economy is largely based on tourism and defense spending, because of the proximity of many tourist attractions in the
Black Hills The Black Hills ( lkt, Ȟe Sápa; chy, Moʼȯhta-voʼhonáaeva; hid, awaxaawi shiibisha) is an isolated mountain range rising from the Great Plains of North America in western South Dakota and extending into Wyoming, United States. Black Elk P ...
and
Ellsworth Air Force Base Ellsworth Air Force Base (AFB) is a United States Air Force base located about northeast of Rapid City, South Dakota, just north of the town of Box Elder, South Dakota, Box Elder. The host unit at Ellsworth is the 28th Bomb Wing (28 BW). Assi ...
. The next eight largest cities in the state, in order of descending 2010 population, are
Aberdeen Aberdeen (; sco, Aiberdeen ; gd, Obar Dheathain ; la, Aberdonia) is a city in North East Scotland, and is the List of towns and cities in Scotland by population, third most populous city in the country. Aberdeen is one of Scotland's 32 Loc ...
(28,495), Brookings (23,337), Watertown (22,655), Mitchell (15,660), Yankton (15,411),
Huron Huron may refer to: People * Wyandot people (or Wendat), indigenous to North America * Wyandot language, spoken by them * Huron-Wendat Nation, a Huron-Wendat First Nation with a community in Wendake, Quebec * Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi ...
(14,263),
Pierre Pierre is a masculine given name. It is a French form of the name Peter. Pierre originally meant "rock" or "stone" in French (derived from the Greek word πέτρος (''petros'') meaning "stone, rock", via Latin "petra"). It is a translatio ...
(14,091), and Spearfish (12,193). Pierre is the state capital, and Brookings and Vermillion are the locations of the state's two largest universities (
South Dakota State University South Dakota State University is a public university, public Land-grant university, land-grant research university in Brookings, South Dakota. Founded in 1881, it is the state's largest and most comprehensive university and the oldest continually ...
and University of South Dakota, respectively). With a population of about 14,000, Pierre is the second smallest state capital in the United States. Of the ten largest cities in the state, only Rapid City and Spearfish are west of the Missouri River.


Media

South Dakota's first newspaper, the ''Dakota Democrat'', began publishing in Yankton in 1858. Today, the state's largest newspaper is the Sioux Falls '' Argus Leader'', with a Sunday circulation of 63,701 and a weekday circulation of 44,334. The ''
Rapid City Journal The ''Rapid City Journal'' (formerly the ''Black Hills Journal'' and the ''Rapid City Daily Journal'') is the daily newspaper of Rapid City, South Dakota. As of 2021, it is the largest newspaper in South Dakota by total subscriptions, according ...
'', with a Sunday circulation of 32,638 and a weekday circulation of 27,827, is South Dakota's second largest newspaper. The next four largest newspapers in the state are the
Aberdeen Aberdeen (; sco, Aiberdeen ; gd, Obar Dheathain ; la, Aberdonia) is a city in North East Scotland, and is the List of towns and cities in Scotland by population, third most populous city in the country. Aberdeen is one of Scotland's 32 Loc ...
'' American News'', the '' Watertown Public Opinion'', the '' Huron Plainsman'', and the '' Brookings Register''. In 1981, Tim Giago founded the ''Lakota Times'' as a newspaper for the local American Indian community on the
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation ( lkt, Wazí Aháŋhaŋ Oyáŋke), also called Pine Ridge Agency, is an Oglala Lakota Indian reservation located entirely within the U.S. state of South Dakota. Originally included within the territory of the Grea ...
. The newspaper, now published in New York and known as ''
Indian Country Today ''ICT News'' (formerly known as ''Indian Country Today'') is a daily digital news platform that covers the Indigenous world, including American Indians, Alaska Natives and First Nations. It was founded in 1981 as a weekly print newspaper, ''The ...
'', is available in every state in the country. The '' Sioux City Journal'' also covers parts of South Dakota. There are nine television stations broadcasting in South Dakota; South Dakota Public Television broadcasts from a number of locations around the state, while the other stations broadcast from Sioux Falls or Rapid City. The two largest television
media market A media market, broadcast market, media region, designated market area (DMA), television market area, or simply market is a region where the population Population typically refers to the number of people in a single area, whether it be ...
s in South Dakota are Sioux Falls-Mitchell, with a viewership of 246,020, and Rapid City, with a viewership of 91,070. The two markets rank as 114th and 177th largest in the United States, respectively. The state's first television station, KELO-TV, began airing in Sioux Falls in 1953. Among KELO's early programs was '' Captain 11'', an afternoon children's program. ''Captain 11'' ran from 1955 until 1996, making it the nation's longest continuously running children's television program. A number of South Dakotans are famous for their work in television and publishing. Former
NBC Nightly News ''NBC Nightly News'' (titled as ''NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt'' for its weeknight broadcasts since June 22, 2015) is the flagship daily evening News broadcasting#Television, television news program for NBC News, the news division of the NB ...
anchor and author
Tom Brokaw Thomas John Brokaw (; born February 6, 1940) is an American retired network television journalist and author. He first served as the co-anchor of Today (American TV program), ''The Today Show'' from 1976 to 1981 with Jane Pauley, then as the anch ...
is from Webster and Yankton, ''
USA Today ''USA Today'' (stylized in all uppercase) is an American daily middle-market newspaper and news broadcasting company. Founded by Al Neuharth on September 15, 1982, the newspaper operates from Gannett's corporate headquarters in Tysons, Virgini ...
'' founder
Al Neuharth Allen Harold "Al" Neuharth (March 22, 1924 – April 19, 2013) was an American people, American businessman, author, and columnist born in Eureka, South Dakota. He was the founder of ''USA Today'', The Freedom Forum, and its Newseum. Early life A ...
was from Eureka and Alpena, gameshow host
Bob Barker Robert William Barker (born December 12, 1923) is an American retired television game show host. He is known for hosting CBS's '' The Price Is Right'' from 1972 to 2007, making it the longest-running daytime game show in North American te ...
spent much of his childhood in
Mission Mission (from Latin ''missio'' "the act of sending out") may refer to: Organised activities Religion *Christian mission, an organized effort to spread Christianity *Mission (LDS Church), an administrative area of The Church of Jesus Christ of ...
, and entertainment news hosts Pat O'Brien and Mary Hart are from Sioux Falls.


Education

As of 2006, South Dakota has a total primary and secondary school enrollment of 136,872, with 120,278 of these students being educated in the public school system. There are 703 public schools in 168 school districts, giving South Dakota the highest number of schools per capita in the United States. The current high school graduation rate is 89.9%, and the average ACT score is 21.8, slightly above the national average of 21.1. 89.8% of the adult population has earned at least a high school diploma, and 25.8% has earned a
bachelor's degree A bachelor's degree (from Middle Latin ''baccalaureus'') or baccalaureate (from New Latin, Modern Latin ''baccalaureatus'') is an Undergraduate degree, undergraduate academic degree awarded by colleges and universities upon completion of a course ...
or higher. South Dakota's 2008 average public school teacher salary of $36,674 was the lowest in the nation (national average was $52,308). In 2007 South Dakota passed legislation modeled after Montana's Indian Education for All Act (1999), mandating education about Native American tribal history, culture, and heritage in all the schools, from pre-school through college, in an effort to increase knowledge and appreciation about Indian culture among all residents of the state, as well as to reinforce Indian students' understanding of their own cultures' contributions. The South Dakota Board of Regents, whose members are appointed by the governor, controls the six public universities in the state.
South Dakota State University South Dakota State University is a public university, public Land-grant university, land-grant research university in Brookings, South Dakota. Founded in 1881, it is the state's largest and most comprehensive university and the oldest continually ...
(SDSU), in Brookings, is the state's largest university, with an enrollment of 12,831. The University of South Dakota (USD), in Vermillion, is the state's oldest university, and has South Dakota's only
law school A law school (also known as a law centre or college of law) is an institution specializing in legal education, usually involved as part of a process for becoming a lawyer within a given jurisdiction. Law degrees Argentina In Argentina, l ...
and medical school. South Dakota also has several private universities, the largest of which is Augustana University in Sioux Falls.


Sports and recreation


Organized sports

Because of its low population, South Dakota does not host any major league professional sports franchises. The state has minor league and independent league teams, all of which play in Sioux Falls or Rapid City. Sioux Falls is home to four teams: the Sioux Falls Canaries (baseball), the Sioux Falls Skyforce (basketball), the Sioux Falls Stampede (
hockey Hockey is a term used to denote a family of various types of both summer and winter team sports which originated on either an outdoor field, sheet of ice, or dry floor such as in a gymnasium. While these sports vary in specific rules, numbers o ...
), and the Sioux Falls Storm (
indoor American football Indoor American football, or arena football, is a variation of gridiron football played at ice hockey Ice hockey (or simply hockey) is a team sport played on ice skates, usually on an Ice rink, ice skating rink with Ice hockey rink, line ...
). The Canaries play in the American Association, and their home field is Sioux Falls Stadium. The Skyforce plays in the
NBA G League The NBA G League, or simply the G League, is the National Basketball Association's (NBA) official List of developmental and minor sports leagues, minor league basketball organization. The league was known as the National Basketball Development ...
and is owned by the NBA's
Miami Heat The Miami Heat are an American professional basketball team based in Miami. The Heat compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference (NBA), Eastern Conference Southeast Division (NBA), Southe ...
. It plays at the Sanford Pentagon. The Stampede and Storm share the Denny Sanford Premier Center. The Stampede plays in the USHL, and the Storm plays in the IFL. Rapid City has a hockey team named the
Rapid City Rush The Rapid City Rush are a professional ice hockey Ice hockey (or simply hockey) is a team sport played on ice skates, usually on an Ice rink, ice skating rink with Ice hockey rink, lines and markings specific to the sport. It belongs to a ...
that plays in the
ECHL The ECHL (formerly the East Coast Hockey League) is a mid-level professional A professional is a member of a profession or any person who works in a specified professional activity. The term also describes the standards of education and tra ...
. The Rush began its inaugural season in 2008 at the
Rushmore Plaza Civic Center The Monument, formerly known as Rushmore Plaza Civic Center and Rushmore Plaza, is a exhibition center, in Rapid City, South Dakota. The Monument is the main event center for the Black Hills Region, serving Western South Dakota South D ...
. Universities in South Dakota host a variety of sports programs. For many years, South Dakota was one of the only states in the country without an
NCAA The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a nonprofit organization that regulates student athlete, student athletics among about 1,100 schools in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. It also organizes the athletic sports, ...
DivisionI football or basketball team. However, the South Dakota State Jackrabbits decided to move their teams from DivisionII to DivisionI in 2007, a move followed by the South Dakota Coyotes in 2011. Other universities in the state compete at the NCAA's Division II or III levels, or in the NAIA. Famous South Dakota athletes include
Billy Mills William Mervin Mills (born June 30, 1938), also known as Tamakoce Te'Hila, is an Oglala Lakota The Oglala (pronounced , meaning "to scatter one's own" in Lakota language) are one of the seven subtribes of the Lakota people who, along with th ...
, Mike Miller, Mark Ellis, Becky Hammon,
Brock Lesnar Brock Edward Lesnar ( ; born July 12, 1977) is an American-Canadian Professional wrestling, professional wrestler, former Mixed martial arts, mixed martial artist (MMA), Amateur wrestling, amateur wrestler, and professional American football p ...
, Chad Greenway, and
Adam Vinatieri Adam Matthew Vinatieri (born December 28, 1972) is an American former American football, football placekicker who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 24 seasons with the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts. Considered one o ...
. Mills is from the town of Pine Ridge and competed at the 1964 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, becoming the only American to win a gold medal in the 10,000-meter event. Miller, of Mitchell, is a two-time
NBA The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball In professional sports, as opposed to amateur sports, participants receive payment for their performance. Professionalism in sport has come to the fore through a ...
champion who played college basketball at the University of Florida, leading them to the 2000 NCAA Championship game his sophomore year, and won the 2001 NBA rookie of the year award. Ellis, of Rapid City, played for the University of Florida and four
MLB Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization and the oldest major professional sports league in the world. MLB is composed of 30 total teams, divided equally between the National League (NL) and the American League (AL), ...
teams before retiring in 2015. Hammon, of Rapid City, played for the WNBA's
New York Liberty The New York Liberty are an American professional basketball team based in the Boroughs of New York City, New York City borough of Brooklyn. The Liberty compete in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) as part of the league's Eastern ...
and San Antonio Silver Stars before becoming an assistant coach for the NBA's
San Antonio Spurs The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio. The Spurs compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Conference (NBA), Western Conference Southwest Division ( ...
in 2014. Lesnar, of Webster, is a former heavy-weight champion in the UFC and WWE. Vinatieri is an NFL
placekicker Placekicker, or simply kicker (PK or K), is the player in gridiron football who is responsible for the kicking duties of Field goal (football), field goals and extra points. In many cases, the placekicker also serves as the team's kickoff specia ...
who grew up in Rapid City and attended SDSU.


Recreation

Fishing and hunting are popular outdoor activities in South Dakota. Fishing contributes over $224 million to South Dakota's economy, and hunting contributes over $303 million. In 2007, over 275,000 hunting licences and 175,000 fishing licences were sold in the state; around half of the hunting licences and over two-thirds of the fishing licences were purchased by South Dakotans. Popular species of game include
pheasants Pheasants ( ) are birds of several genera within the family Family (from la, familia) is a Social group, group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or Affinity (law), affinity (by marriage or other relationshi ...
,
white-tailed deer The white-tailed deer (''Odocoileus virginianus''), also known as the whitetail or Virginia deer, is a medium-sized deer native to North America, Central America, and South America as far south as Peru and Bolivia. It has also been introduced t ...
,
mule deer The mule deer (''Odocoileus hemionus'') is a deer indigenous to western North America; it is named for its ears, which are large like those of the mule. Two subspecies of mule deer are grouped into the black-tailed deer. Unlike the related whit ...
, and
turkeys The turkey is a large bird Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class (biology), class Aves (), characterised by feathers, toothless beaked jaws, the Oviparity, laying of Eggshell, hard-shelled eggs, a hig ...
, as well as waterfowl such as
Canada geese The Canada goose (''Branta canadensis''), or Canadian goose, is a large wild goose A goose (plural, : geese) is a bird of any of several waterfowl species in the family (biology), family Anatidae. This group comprises the genera ''Anser ...
,
snow geese The snow goose (''Anser caerulescens'') is a species of goose native to North America. Both white and dark morphs exist, the latter often known as blue goose. Its name derives from the typically white plumage. The species was previously placed ...
, and mallards. Targets of anglers include
walleye The walleye (''Sander vitreus'', Synonym (taxonomy), synonym ''Stizostedion vitreum''), also called the yellow pike or yellow pickerel, is a freshwater perciform fish native to most of Canada and to the Northern United States. It is a North A ...
in the eastern glacial lakes and Missouri River reservoirs,
Chinook salmon The Chinook salmon (''Oncorhynchus tshawytscha'') is the largest and most valuable species of Pacific salmon in North America, as well as the largest in the genus (biology), genus ''Oncorhynchus''. Its common name is derived from the Chinookan ...
in
Lake Oahe Lake Oahe () is a large reservoir A reservoir (; from French language, French ''réservoir'' ) is an enlarged lake behind a dam. Such a dam may be either artificial, built to water storage, store fresh water or it may be a natural formation. ...
, and
trout Trout are species of freshwater fish belonging to the genera ''Oncorhynchus'', ''Salmo'' and ''Salvelinus'', all of the subfamily (biology), subfamily Salmoninae of the family Salmonidae. The word ''trout'' is also used as part of the name ...
in the Black Hills. Other sports, such as cycling and running, are also popular in the state. In 1991, the state opened the George S. Mickelson Trail, a
rail trail A rail trail is a shared-use path on rail transport, railway right of way. Rail trails are typically constructed after a railway has been abandoned and the track has been removed, but may also share the right of way with active railways, light rai ...
in the Black Hills. Besides being used by cyclists, the trail is also the site of a portion of the annual Mount Rushmore marathon; the marathon's entire course is at an elevation of over 4,000 feet (1,200 m). Other events in the state include the Tour de Kota, a , six-day cycling event that covers much of eastern and central South Dakota, and the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which draws hundreds of thousands of participants from around the United States.


State symbols

Some of South Dakota's official state symbols include: : State bird: Ring-necked pheasant : State flower: American pasque flower : State tree: Black Hills
spruce A spruce is a tree of the genus ''Picea'' (), a genus of about 35 species of coniferous evergreen trees in the family Pinaceae, found in the northern temperate and boreal ecosystem, boreal (taiga) regions of the Earth. ''Picea'' is the sole gen ...
: State nicknames:
Mount Rushmore Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a National Memorial (United States), national memorial centered on a colossal sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore (Lakota language, Lakota: ''Tȟuŋkášila Šákpe'', or Six Grandfathe ...
State (official),
Coyote The coyote (''Canis latrans'') is a species of canis, canine native to North America. It is smaller than its close relative, the wolf, and slightly smaller than the closely related eastern wolf and red wolf. It fills much of the same ecologica ...
state and Sunshine state (both unofficial) :
State motto Most of the U.S. state, United States' 50 states have a state motto, as do the District of Columbia and 3 of U.S. territories, its territories. A motto is a phrase intended to formally describe the general motivation or intention of an o ...
: "Under God, the people rule" : State slogan: "Great Faces. Great Places." :
State mineral Leaders of states in the U.S. which have significant mineral deposits often create a state mineral, rock, stone or gemstone to promote interest in their natural resources, history, tourism, etc. Not every state has an official state mineral, rock, ...
: Rose
quartz Quartz is a hard, crystalline mineral composed of silica ( silicon dioxide). The atoms are linked in a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon-oxygen Tetrahedral molecular geometry, tetrahedra, with each oxygen being shared between two tetrahedra ...
:
State insect State insects are designated by 48 individual states of the fifty United States. Some states have more than one designated insect, or have multiple categories (e.g., state insect and state butterfly, etc.). Iowa and Michigan are the two states with ...
:
Honey bee A honey bee (also spelled honeybee) is a eusocial flying insect within the genus ''Apis'' of the bee clade, all native to Afro-Eurasia. After bees spread naturally throughout Africa and Eurasia, humans became responsible for the current cosmop ...
(''Apis mellifera'') : State animal:
Coyote The coyote (''Canis latrans'') is a species of canis, canine native to North America. It is smaller than its close relative, the wolf, and slightly smaller than the closely related eastern wolf and red wolf. It fills much of the same ecologica ...
:
State fish This is a list of official and unofficial U.S. state fishes: __TOC__ Table See also * Lists of U.S. state insignia * Lists of U.S. state animals Notes References Netstate.com state fish tables External links

{{state insignia Lis ...
:
Walleye The walleye (''Sander vitreus'', Synonym (taxonomy), synonym ''Stizostedion vitreum''), also called the yellow pike or yellow pickerel, is a freshwater perciform fish native to most of Canada and to the Northern United States. It is a North A ...
: State gemstone: Fairburn
agate Agate () is a common rock formation, consisting of chalcedony and quartz as its primary components, with a wide variety of colors. Agates are primarily formed within volcanic and metamorphic rocks. The ornamental use of agate was common in A ...
: State song: " Hail, South Dakota!"


See also

* Index of South Dakota-related articles * Outline of South Dakota * '''' * ''''


References


Bibliography

* * *


Further reading

* Lauck, Jon K. ''Prairie Republic: The Political Culture of Dakota Territory, 1879–1889'' (University of Oklahoma Press; 2010) 281 pages * Wishart, David J. ed. ''Encyclopedia of the Great Plains'', University of Nebraska Press, 2004,
complete text online
900 pages of scholarly articles * From the publisher of South Dakota Magazine, with many photographs.


External links

*
South Dakota Department of Tourism

South Dakota State Databases

Energy Profile for South Dakota

USGS real-time, geographic, and other scientific resources of South Dakota



South Dakota State Facts from USDA

South Dakota State Historical Society Press
* * *
Dakota Pathways
{{coord, 44, -100, dim:300000_region:US-SD_type:adm1st, name=State of South Dakota, display=title States of the United States States and territories established in 1889 Midwestern United States U.S. states with multiple time zones 1889 establishments in the United States Contiguous United States